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A Changing of the Guard

by Brian Sykes, Head Moderator (Retired)

2nd April 2019

To the esteemed members of the TrekCC online community:

After more than four years as a Moderator, and over three years as Head Moderator, I have decided that it's time for a break and will be stepping down from the Moderator Team. Effective April 2, 2019, Dave Hines (Boffo97) will be assuming the position of Head Moderator and has accepted the challenge of rebuilding the Moderator team.

To start him off on this quest, Daniel Pareja (Nobthehobbit) and Chad Cawlishaw (Se7enofmine) have agreed to expand the scope of their duties from Quark's Bar Moderators to full time Moderators. I have confidence that both of them will do a good job and provide Dave the foundation he needs to to fill out the roster.

I have been proud of the progress that has been made during my tenure and the accomplishments that we have been able to achieve in some key areas: Implementing the TrekCC Code of Conduct (CoC), revising the penalty structure to be more fair in the look back period, opening Quark's Bar, and formally establishing the Community Contributor program. I thank the CC Leadership, Art, and IT Departments for their vital contributions in these areas.

This is a decision that I have been considering for some time. When the decision was made to create the Moderation team and put the Code of Conduct into effect in early 2015, I saw the need but also had some reservations, which I recorded in this post. Having been a member of the STCCG community for over 22 years as of this writing, and a member of the TrekCC community since basically the beginning, I have seen the number of active users dwindle over time, and the thought of actively removing more community members gave me great pause, and was something that I wanted to see happen only at great necessity. However, rather than cross my fingers and hope for the best, I felt a call to serve and volunteered. My hope was to be a voice of reason in this new environment into which we were all about to enter.

The fact is, this is a community with a lot of different opinions and sometimes those differences were diametrically opposed, with the only commonality being the passion by which they were held by their advocates. I've always viewed my role as one of balancing equities and fostering compromise wherever and whenever possible, and if not possible, at least giving all sides a fair hearing and acknowledging their concerns even when making an unpopular decision.

However, the community deserves to have a Moderation Team, and especially a Head Moderator, whose view reflects their interests. I put up the CoC Poll in January because I wanted to gauge where the community as a whole was before making any decisions on next steps. The results told me that an overwhelming majority either wants things to stay the same or have a more restrictive CoC, and in the course of the discussion, several community members stated that while they voted for status quo, they'd also be happy with more restrictions.

This feedback was critical, and informative, and I appreciate those who participated and registered their views and concerns on all sides. Given my own conservative inclinations towards more restrictions, I concluded that it was time for some fresh blood and new leadership on the Moderator team to give the community what they're asking for. After working with Dave for over a year, I believe he's got what it takes to lead in this new direction while also being fair minded and mindful of dissenting opinions and will continue to seek compromise and balance equities to whatever degree possible.

Before I go, I have one last act as Head Moderator, one that is easily my favorite part of the job and the part that I will truly miss: The awarding of Community Contributor badges.

First: To Thomas "TK" Kamiura (BossKamiura). TK has been a leader in reviving online Trek and Tribbles play. His creating and running "The Dojo" has provided much needed structure and incentive to increase online play. Most especially, his innovation of creating a formal recognition system for non-tournament games has shown that it can be done and is a key milestone in enabling the CC to fulfill its commitment to recognize casual play on all fronts.

Second: To John Corbett (KillerB). From League play, to the Academy Format, to Kayfabe and belt matches, John has continuously been a thought leader in the 2e arena whether or not he had a "nerd job," and his creation of and advocacy for the Hall of Fame format is yet another rousing success. By creating a process of allowing nominations and votes on the boards, he has led a true community effort to reshape the 2e card pool and keep the game fresh. This has also led to interesting strategy and meta discussions on the boards, as well as new and innovative deck ideas on the tournament scene. Additionally, while less frequent than they once were, his Good Card Bad Card articles provided quality commentary, humor, and card analysis that was always an interesting read. John doesn't always get public recognition for his positive contributions, and this award is my attempt to rectify that fact.

Third and finally: James Heaney (BCSWowbagger). James is one of the unsung heroes of the community. He was actually nominated for this award two years ago for his work in updating and optimizing the queries in the deckbuilder and making the database searches generally faster overall, but since he was still on the Moderation team at the time I wasn't sure how well that would be received. Now that he's no longer a Moderator there's no reason to hold it up. But in addition to his IT work, he was also instrumental in getting the Quark's Bar rules written and getting the whole QB project unstuck after the incident last summer where politics on the public boards bubbled up to the point where we had to lock the politics thread. In addition, his level headedness, institutional knowledge, and love of administrativa and process have contributed greatly in the time he has been an unofficial Moderator Advisor. This award is a minor token but it represents my sincere gratitude for his myriad efforts.

Let me just close by saying that I appreciate the public and private votes of confidence I've gotten along the way, and I also appreciate the constructive feedback I've received from those who saw things differently than me. Both were helpful to receive during my tenure. I tried to leave things better than I found them and, on net, I think I succeeded, with a lot of help from my fellow Moderators and other folks from all over the TrekCC community. I'm looking forward to seeing what the new team does to build on the successes and improve anything that I was wrong about or didn't get to. I wish them the best, and encourage the rest of the community to do the same.


-Brian Sykes (Armus)
(Now Former) Head Moderator
TrekCC Moderation Team

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